Rhetoric Effectively Used to Say Little

I've read reviews in the past, but never one quite like this. It was fitting, and poured across my eyes like words from a computer screen. The descriptions glowed effervescently with metaphors and similes sparkling with the delirium of cliche observations and orgasming in a "cool down" and a dubbing.

Chopin was there too.

Review: Rockford symphony starts season on high note
Tim Hughes, RRStar.com (Rockford Register Star), September 20, 2010

I’ve attended opening night at the symphony in the past, but never one quite like this.

Really? Never??

figure guess: This would be a bit different...what do you think?

So what was so unique about this concert?

It began with Czech composer Bedrich Smetana’s “Overture to the Bartered Bride,” a comic opera which, since its first performance 145 years ago, has become a staple of opera company repertories around the world.

So, the overture to a standard repertoire opera is uncommon for opening night symphony concerts?

I think I'm confused.

The brief, lively overture was a fitting opening number for the new season, reaching an incredible intensity.

Fitting? Why do you say that? It's a comic opera about arranged marriages...is that the fitting part?

Or just the "incredible intensity"?

Then came the evening’s guest artist, Jeffrey Biegel.

You're right. Why would we care about why you felt it necessary to single out this opening night concert as unique, or why the Smetana overture was especially apt? That kind of first-person elucidation is boring.

Let's move on.

In honor of the bicentennial of Frederic Chopin’s birth, Biegel performed two of the composer’s early opuses...

Seems logical, but rather stiff...how about a out-of-place metaphor or simile that tells us nothing?

...that at times fell on the audience’s ear like cascading brook water.

Beautiful. Plus it's rather cliche. Bravo, sir.

figure Monument to Chopin in the Singapore Botanical Gardens: Not funny, just thought it odd that Singapore has a monument to Chopin.

So, I'm a pretty big fan of overwrought prose and metaphorical descriptions. Do you have any more?

At other times, it was delivered with a fury that gemmed and jeweled each note as his fingers flew across the keyboard.

Impressive. I think you've succeed quite nicely in telling us pretty much nothing.

Next, Biegel performed Keith Emerson’s “Piano Concerto No. 1,”...

Which Chopin did he play again?

...which radiated with an onrushing cacophony of sound glittering with the frenzy of modern urban life and climaxing in a horizon wide crescendo of breathtaking tonal power.

Bravo. Your words are as florid as they are meaningless.

After taking several well deserved bows,...

I'm sure the ovations were well-deserved...the bows on the other hand...

...Biegel, in what might be deemed a “cool down” encore, moved the audience with a tender rendering of Chopin’s “Fantasy Impromptu.”

"Cool down"?

figure cool down: Good call. We definitely wouldn't want to do something we would feel sorry about later. Thanks, Chopin.

Anyway, why would one have doubted that deeming?

The evening was capped with a performance of Brahms’s sprawling “Symphony No. 1.,” dubbed “The Tenth” in recognition of it similarities to Beethoven’s ninth.

Why tell us the Brahms has similarities to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? Is that relevant to this performance?

Nevermind, you're right, don't overwhelm us with details. Information only confuses the matter.

General impressions, melodramatic metaphors, and unexplained opinions are the tools of any great critic.


Jeffrey Biegel said...


Sator Arepo said...

Hilarious. Hi, Mr. Biegel!

Also: "opuses"

Yeah...yeah. The plural of "opus" is, of course, "opera," the usage of which has the added advantage of not sucking.